Gordes—The Jewel of the Luberon

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Placed in a commanding position with all her majestic glory is a village that shines like a jewel above all others. She wears her crown well as visitors flock to capture her image from the valley below.

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The best time to see Gordes is when it’s calm in the early morning or in the evening as the sun is setting and the light is magnificent for photos. It’s never been too busy when we have visited, since we always go slightly off season. But I would stay away in the prime of summer or only visit in the early morning or in the evening when the tourists are off having dinner and you can have the place all to yourself.

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Wandering the narrow cobblestone streets and taking in the simple charms of flowers in terracotta pots, colorful shutters, and sparkling pools high up above the valley is the best part of slow-pace travel, immersing oneself in the moment.

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It’s also relaxing to sit and people watch at le Renaissance, a very classy café/restaurant, where there are often musicians playing in the square.

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And, of course, the nearby notorious Sénanque Abbey is a photogenic dream.

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There’s no denying that Gordes is the jewel of the Luberon. Stunning indeed. There are other villages though that call to me more, having that special je ne sais quoi that is the essence of French village charm. But I always make time for Gordes.

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À bientôt!

A Grueling Ride up Mont Ventoux or Relaxing at a Spa?

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Though my husband and I enjoy spending our time together meandering villages while in Provence, he feels a constant tug at his heartstrings luring him away toward something else. Being a cyclist and being in France, a cyclist’s dream, he is constantly enticed by the sight of Mont Ventoux towering in the distance beckoning him to conquer.

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Ventoux towering from the streets of Venasque

Though it’s hard for me to compete with the “Giant,” we’ve come up with quite an interesting arrangement on how we both can enjoy ourselves while apart. He drops me off in a gorgeous village, where I explore and enjoy a spa treatment at a five-star resort while he tortures himself with a grueling ride to the top of Ventoux. A lovely arrangement! Wouldn’t you agree?

We meet afterward, bubbling over with excitement as we tell of our adventures. Back home I would never waste money on luxurious spa treatments—money that could be used for more important things, like a trip to France. But this newfound arrangement, just in Provence, is quite a treat. And if you’re going to indulge in a spa treatment, what better place than in a vaulted stone room surrounded by lavender in Provence!

I can highly recommend the spa at Hôtel Les Bories in Gordes as well as the Spa des Écuries at Hôtel Crillon le Brave, both gorgeous resorts. I was pleasantly surprised that the Spa des Écuries was giving a 20 percent discount to those who were not staying at the hotel. Extra money for me to enjoy a cappuccino and a glass of wine on the hotel terrace overlooking the beautiful countryside while waiting for my “Tour de France” cyclist to return.

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This is actually from another time in Menerbes, but you get the picture

And if one has to wait, I can think of worse ways to pass the time than at this spot below.

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Le Renaissance, Gordes

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Happy cyclist meeting up in Gordes

Until next time Ventoux. I look forward to watching you from a distance while relaxing.

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À bientôt!